The first wave of the Planning Delivery Fund, totalling £15.8 million, has been awarded to enable councils to process more applications, implement new reforms, encourage innovation, and train planners to tackle the housing and other place based challenges faced by their local areas.
The Design Network, working across all the English regions, was one of only three non-Local Authority organisations to receive a share of this investment. This funding will enable the Design Network to focus all its efforts on increasing the skills and learning of both councillors, planning officers, and communities in improving design quality and delivery outcomes.
At the heart of these efforts will be the distribution of the highly regarded The Design Companion for Planning and PlaceMaking* handbook helping all those involved in their local places, designers, developers, politicians, and most importantly local communities, help shape and improve their long term place development.
This funding will help boost support for English local authorities working together on ambitious new joint local plans and core strategies, which will engage residents on how future development will take place in their areas and outline the locations best suited for new homes where demand is high or energise ways to stimulate or incentive new housing opportunities and choices.
The funding will also support greater sharing of best practice and innovation within councils as they decide planning applications, resulting in more being determined over a shorter period of time.
The principles underpinning the Design Companion will be instilled through a very accessible and digitally media-enabled series of workshop, seminars and events across all the English regions starting in early Spring 2018.
36 local training events will be held across England. Local Authorities wishing to get involved will be able to register their interest by contacting their local Design Network centres.
All the learning content, debates and evaluated outcomes will be widely distributed across a range of digital and social media platforms (web, podcast, tweeter et al) to ensure a positive learning network is sustained as a powerful investment legacy.
Notes to Editors
Design Network is a partnership of social enterprises and charitable organisations working in all the English Regions. The Network comprises:
- Design_NE – North East
- Places Matter – North West
- Integreat Plus – Yorkshire and the Humber
- MADE – West Midlands
- Opun – East Midlands
- Design:SE – South East and East England
- Creating Excellence – South West England
- Urban Design London – London
*The Design Companion for Planning and Placemaking publication – Urban Design London (TfL), RIBA Publishing, Place Alliance